Friday, 23 January 2015

Nowadays is it OK to covet?

Life has been busy and my eldest has been very ill so blogging has been off the agenda. I still peruse of my favourites and read an interesting post from Stina Auer.  The post and comments were quite thought provoking.

I regularly wonder why I bother keeping this blog 'public' since it there is an innate vanity in doing so (as one of Stina's commentators rightly points out).  And yet when I do a post, in my mind there are only 3 people reading it (and that includes my husband and my own revision of it).  I keep it public because it keeps it all lighter and happier. Less likely to go to those places of despair that we might visit in a private diary and with luck don't last long and are not really a reflection of our overall state of mind.

My blog is just marking the passing of time, and all of the small memories that might get lost if I don't have a little place to store them.

The bigger questions that Stina raises about the next generation and the pointlessness of most of our blog/instagram/twitter offerings struck a chord.  But the sun is out, my presentation is finished, life is looking good, so in this moment, I am optimistic, that the next generation will evolve and adapt.

 They will value their privacy above all else and will be astounded at the ridiculous amount of information that we were all stupid enough to give away without question.  And all those thousands of images of 'expensive selfies' showing off designer clothes and handbags, what will we make of those in a few years?  I like to look at pretty things and a nice pic of an Hermes bag is quite pleasing on the eye, but is it dangerous to 'normalise' this stuff, so that somehow we feel short-changed if we don't have it?  And yet when I was going back and forward to the hospital, I didn't want anything heavy- weight and thought-provoking.  I was thrilled that the waiting room had Grazia and Elle, I needed to mindlessly flick through something to take even the smallest part of my mind off of the bigger concerns.

But are we creating a generation who will value their relationship with others based on the number of designer bags that they buy them?

The ten commandments, are pretty sensible advice both for making society work and for leading a happy life.   'Not coveting' would seem like a good idea and yet social media (and I'm singling out Instagram as the worst offender) seems to be used to actively encouraging envy of the lives of others. In 'real life',  I've always been suspicious of people who go to great lengths to tell others how rich/happy/ successful they are. Believing the more they shout, the less it is true. But even with 'disbelief' as my basic mindset, Instagram, makes me uncomfortable.  It makes me question 'do we travel enough'? 'Should I cook/look better?' etc It is something about the power of images, that bypass reason and take you straight to an emotional 'want'?

During the last few weeks, life has been very small.  The invalid couldn't really go out for more than five or ten minutes at a time, so highlights of our day revolved around watching the dogs chase the pigeons in the garden.  The pigeons literally come and tap on the bottom of the door to drive them into a frenzy and wait in the bush for the chase to start, a real life 'Tom and Jerry'.

Lighting the fire is another highlight, we usually wait until lunchtime so that by twilight it is burning nicely. A 'trip out' is the 1 minute walk to the village shop for daily supplies, Thursdays being particularly exciting since this is the day that the weekly local paper is printed.  Life is small, minuscule and not remotely Instagrammable and yet aside from knowing he is on the mend, it is the happiest I have ever been.  He is now back at school and I am slightly dreading having to re-engage with normal life.